MR. SPURGEON AS A LITERARY MAN (CONCLUDED).
NOT only did Mr. Spurgeon, to the end of his life, continue to read vast numbers of the works written by ancient and modern authors, but he also kept on writing books for other people to read; and when he was “called home” he had so many in course of preparation that his posthumous works already form quite a numerous company, and there are many more yet to be published. Whoever is spared to see a complete set of his volumes will probably find that they will then number not less than a hundred and fifty.
During the period covered by the present portion of the Standard Life, The Treasury of David was completed, and the regular issue of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, The Sword and the Trowel, and Spurgeon’s Illustrated (Book) Almanack , and John Ploughman’s (Sheet) Almanack was continued, as indeed they have been since the Pastor’s home-going. Marty people appear to have thought that it was hardly possible for Mr. Spurgeon, with the almost incessant demands upon his time and strength, to devote much personal attention to certain portions of his literary labors, so they attributed to his helpers a good deal of the toil that devolved upon him. One person was credited with the compilation of the BooK Almanack, although its Editor never entrusted it to anyone but himself until the year of his long illness; and on one occasion, at least, he felt it needful to remind his readers; that his connection with The Sword and the Trowel was not by any means a merely nominal one, but was very real and practical. In his “Notes” for April, 1885, anticipating his return from Mentone, he wrote — “A kindly reviewer speaks of our March number as vivacious and good, ‘notwithstanding the absence of the Editor.’ The fact is, that the Editor is never absent from the magazine; but personally reads every line of each number. Friends now and then write, blaming some supposed subordinate, if their tastes are not pleased; but the Editor hides behind nobody, friends must please blame him, for he is personally responsible. Our writers are able men, and are quite able to fight their own battles, should battles occur; but the Editor never wishes it to be imagined that he merely puts his name on the cover of the magazine, and leaves it to be produced by other people.
No; it is our continual endeavor to make this serial as good as we can make it, and we would do better if we could. Notwithstanding illness, or absence from home, we have never been obliged to delegate our duties to anyone else; on the contrary, we have given all the more time to this work when we have been debarred from other labors.”
Many of the books published by Mr. Spurgeon during the last fourteen years of his busy life were briefly mentioned in Vol. 3, because of their connection with others then described, or they have been already referred to in previous chapters of the present volume. One ‘of the Pastor’s ardent admirers made an artistic arrangement of the titles of many of the works which had been issued up to the time of his Jubilee, with his portrait in the center, and allusions to the three spheres of his; pastoral service, and the chief educational and philanthropic Institutions with which his name is inseparably associated. The design is, reproduced on the opposite page, where it can be seen that the initials, C. H. S., are ingeniously introduced into the closing line of the tribute to Mr. Spurgeon’s loving and sympathetic service and world-wide influence.
Taking the later books in chronological order, the first to be noted is The Clue of the Maze, a Voice Lifted up on behalf of Honest Faith . The Preface describes its autobiographical character— “How I have personally threaded ‘the labyrinth of life, thus far, may be of helpful interest to some other soul which just now is in a maze.” The sub-title is thus explained — ”A great poet let fall the expression, ‘honest doubt.’ How greedily it was clutched at Modern unbelief is so short of the quality that it seized the label, and, in season and out of season, it has advertised itself asHONEST doubt. It was in dire need of a character. Feeble as our voice may be, we lift it on behalf ofHONEST FAITH.” The book was first issued in a bijou edition, suitable for carrying in the waistcoat pocket, but it has since been reprinted in large type, to correspond with other shilling books by Mr. Spurgeon. He was greatly gratified as he heard, from time to time, that his purpose in writing it had been happily fulfilled; and he was specially cheered by the testimony of a notable literary man who had been, through reading it, lifted up from blank atheism to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The little book has been translated into several foreign languages.
About the same time as The Clue of the Maze was published, the Pastor was busily occupied with the first of his four volumes, entitled My Sermon- Notes. They were issued in response to an oft-repeated request for outlines of discourses which might be helpful to “lay” or local preachers who have but little time for their pulpit preparation, or who find a difficulty in selecting suitable subjects for sermons and addresses. In order that the notes might be of still greater service to such brethren, they were made rather more ample and detailed than when Mr. Spurgeon himself preached from them; and, for the same reason, appropriate extracts and illustrations were added to them. That the work met an urgent need, was speedily apparent; and it was not long before at “Note” to the following effect appeared in The Sword And The Trowel — “Our first half-crown volume of outline sermons has met with a very cordial reception, the first edition of 5,000 being very nearly cleared out, though only so lately presented to the public. Taking this as a token for good, we shall soon issue the second portion, which contains our notes of sermons from Ecclesiastes to Malachi. Brethren whose time is much occupied with business cares, who nevertheless delight to preach the Word of God, will find these Sermon-Notes to be a great assistance, With that view we. have prepared them, and to that end we trust that God will bless them. They are not sufficiently in extenso to suit the idler, and yet we trust there’, is enough of them to aid the embarrassed worker. The preparation of this volume has enabled us to while away the evenings and the occasional wet and cloudy days of our rustication at Mentone. As its fragmentary nature allowed us to take it up and lay it down at will, it was just the sort of occupation to afford us happy recreation. To have nothing to do, is bondage; but such congenial employment as this has aided us in being perfectly at ease.”
In due time, the whole set was completed, and it has had a very large sale.
Since the Pastor’s home-going, another volume of a somewhat similar character has been published, — C. H. Spurgeon’s Facsimile Pulpit-Notes, will,’ the Sermons Preached from them in the Metropolitan Tabernacle .
The book originated in rather a singular way. A paragraph appeared in various newspapers, announcing that some of the notes used by Mr. Spurgeon, while preaching at the Tabernacle, were about to be reproduced in facsimile, and the writer intimated that the work would be certain to have a favorable reception. As a matte, r of fact, up to that time, no such arrangement had been made; but the idea seemed so good, and the publicity given to it was so helpful, that a dozen suitable outlines were selected, and, with the discourses delivered from them, were made into a volume which at once became an interesting memento of the “promoted” preacher, and a striking illustration of his method of sermon construction.
The book, which has the double distinction of having been translated into more foreign languages and of having been blessed 1:o the salvation of more souls than any other of Mr. Spurgeon’s works, is the shilling volume entitled All of Grace. An Earnest Word with those who are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ . Its opening sentences are — “The object of this book is the salvation of the reader. He who spoke and wrote it will be greatly disappointed if it does not lead many to the Lord Jesus. It is sent forth in childlike dependence upon the power of God the Holy Ghost, to use it in the conversion of millions, if so He pleases.” Almost the last paragraph contains these words, which now have a peculiar pathos attaching to them ..... “If those who are converted, become winners of others, who knows what may spring’ out of my’ little book? Already I begin praising God for the conversions which He will work by it, and by those whom it leads to Jesus. Probably the larger part of the results will hal)pen when my right hand, which is now leaving its impress on the. page, will be paralyzed in death.READER,MEET ME IN HEAVEN!”
One of the many instances of the usefulness of the little volume, of which the Pastor knew before he was “called home,” was reported to him in the following letter from a doctor who was a member of the Tabernacle Church — “My Dear Sir, “I have a message to give you, and will do it as briefly as I can. “For many years, I have had the friendship of a well-known medical man in ____ For some two or three years, he has suffered from diabetes; but he has lived just the same, entirely without Christ.
Last Christmas, I sent him a copy of All of Grace. A short time ago, when I was at the seaside, I received a letter from a friend in which he said, ‘ I believe Dr.___ is saved,’… the teaching has been all Mr. Spurgeon’s. This I was delighted to hear. “Yesterday, I stood by his side. I found him very ill, suffering from inflammation of the lungs, consequent on the diabetes.. He took my hands, and, as well as he could between his tears, and the shortness of breath, told me that he was saved, that he was a child of God, that his sins were all forgiven, that he was washed in the blood of his Savior, and clothed in the robe of His perfect righteousness; and recovering his breath, he said, very’ solemnly, ‘Will you tell Mr. Spurgeon that this has all come, in God’s mercy to me a poor sinner, by that book, — pointing to All of Grace, which was; lying open on his bed, — ’ will you let him know what a blessing that book has been to me?’ “Dear sir, I have delivered the message. I know you will be pleased to receive it, and will you remember my dear friend in prayer? “Believe me to be, “Yours deeply-indebted, “______” The book having been so manifestly owned of God, Mr. Spurgeon prepared a companion volume, — According to Promise ,’ or, the Lord’s Method of Dealing’ with His Chosen People ,’ and, some time later, he issued Around the Wicket Gate ,’ or, a Friendly Talk with Seekers concerning Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ , both of which have h a(t a wide circulation, and have been greatly blessed.
The volume which, more than any other of Mr. Spurgeon’s writings, illustrates his power of rapid composition, is The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith . It consists of 366 Scripture promises, arranged for daily use, with brief experimental comments; suitable for reading at family worship or as a help to private devotion. During the Pastor’s stay at Mentone., in the winter of 1887-8, there was one Monday when the rain poured down incessantly in such tropical fashion that he was compelled to remain indoors all day. His companions were not aware that he was contemplating the commencement of another new book, but they noticed how rapidly he was covering sheet alter sheet of foreign notepaper. After a while, he explained that he had begun a volume of daily meditations; and, before he went to bed, that night, he had finished the portions for the month of January, and handed them to Mr. Passmore to send off to London for the printers. They were so carefully written that they needed but little correction; and anyone who has the book, and. examines the first thirty-one pages in it, will be able to estimate both the quantity and the quality of one,. wet day’s work while the Pastor was supposed to be on his holiday in the,. sunny South.
The Cheque Book is, to a large extent, a record of Mr. Spurgeon’s own experiences of the Lord’s faithfulness during the “Down-grade” Controversy. Some of the most striking promises, on which he has commented, were sent to him by friends, who wished to uphold and encourage him in that season of sore sorrow and travail, and the book abounds in autobiographical allusions. In the Preface, the Pastor wrote — ”To the cheering Scriptures, I have added testimonies of my own, the fruit of trial and experience. I believe all the promises of God, but many of them I have personally tried and proved .... I commenced these daily portions when I was wading in the surf of controversy. Since then, I have been cast into ‘waters to swim in,’ which, but for God’s upholding hand, would have proved waters to drown in .... I do not mention this to exact sympathy, but simply to let the reader see that I am no dry-land sailor. I have traversed those oceans which are not Pacific full many a time I know the roll of the billows, and the rush of the winds. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood till now; I had not reached the date at which they’ matured, for I was not myself mature enough to perceive their meaning. How much more wonderful is the Bible. to role now than it was a few months ago! In obeying the Lord, and bearing His reproach outside the camp, I have not received new promises but the result to me is much the same’, as if I had done so, for the old ones have opened up to me with richer stores.”
Remembering the origin of the book, it is noteworthy that, during the compilation of the present volume, a testimony’ to its helpfulness in times of trial has come from Christians; in South Africa, who have been reading the Dutch translation of it, and so have been comforted during their’ recent terrible experiences. Mr. Spurgeon had many proofs of the usefulness of the volume; one that interested and amused him was thus related by Pastor W. Williams, of Upton Chapel — “Opposite my study-window are several gardens, affording during summertime a pleasant outlook; but, in the first of them, there was tied up, until recently, a large retriever dog. His incessant barking made study and thought quite out of the question. I let his owner know this in a quiet way; but still the dog was there. I wondered, if I Should pray about the matter it seemed rather comical to pray about the barking of a dog; besides, I could not bring to. mind a promise about such a thing which I could mention in prayer, until one day I opened Mr. Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith, where the text is, ‘ But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue,’ the comment on which begins, ‘What! has God power over the tongues of dogs? Can He keep curs from barking?
Yes, it is even so.’ I was startled, for no dog ever laid hold with greater tenacity than this text did on me. There and then I knelt down, and asked that the dog might be removed. ‘The clog has gone, and the owner, too; but mark,, the arrangements to go were made by the owner just about the time that the prayer was offered! How true it is that — “‘More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of!’” Following The Cheque Book, Mr. Spurgeon published two volumes of quite a different character, — The Salt-cellars, being a Collection of Proverbs, together with Homely Notes thereon. For nearly twenty years, he had issued John Ploughman’s Almanack, and the labor involved in collecting or composing so many thousands of proverbs, maxims, and mottoes, seemed to justify their preservation in a more permanent form than the annual broadsheet ensured. Accordingly, they were arranged alphabetically, in two sections, “Proverbs and Quaint Sayings,” and “Sayings of a more Spiritual Sort;” and, in nearly every instance, “Homely Notes” were added, concerning which one reviewer wrote — “The proverbs are excellent, but Mr. Spurgeon’s comments are perfect.”
Each of the volumes, as it was published, received a most hearty welcome both from the press and the public, and their contents have ever since been frequently quoted in the pulpit and on the platform. Mr. Spurgeon sent the two books to Mr. George Augustus Sala, with a request that he would review them in The Daily Telegraph if he judged them worthy of such a notice. In reply, Mr. Sala wrote a long and cordial letter, in the course of which he said — “You,’ two volumes were such pleasant reading that I thought the best way to meet your views would be to make The Saltcellars the text for a leading article, which I now have much pleasure in sending you. Naturally, I was struck (and amused) by the maxim, ‘Newspapers are the Bibles of worldlings.’ That is exactly so,’ and it is eminently fitting that it should be so; because, to a journalist who is aware of the usefulness and respects the dignity of his calling, the press is a pulpit whence,, on week-days, he preaches lay sermons, leaving Sunday to you and your brethren.”
Mr. Sala then proceeded to give quite a lengthy dissertation on the maxim which had so greatly interested him, but it need not be quoted here from his letter, as he referred to it again in his article, the opening and closing sentences of which were as follows — “A really busy man has usually the largest amount of leisure at his disposal. and Mr. C. H. Spurgeon, amidst the multifarious labors and responsibilities which devolve on him as Pastor of an immense congregation, has found time to dig and delve very deeply indeed in that richest of colloquial mines, — the treasury of English proverbs. Under the title of The Salt-cellars, Mr. Spurgeon has just issued two comely and handy volumes, which will derive much value, not only from the fact that the work is one presenting evidence of indefatigable industry of research and considerable acumen in selection, but also from the circumstance that the compiler ‘has graced, his chosen proverbs with a running commentary of what he modestly calls ‘homely notes.” In reality, they are often humorous as well as homely, and are always replete with that spirit of cheerful piety, quite devoid of cant or bigotry, which renders Mr. Spurgeon’s utterances always acceptable even to those who differ from him most widely in dogma..... “Mr. Spurgeon has chosen to select, as a proverb, that which appears to us to be more of the nature of a pulpit platitude, ‘Newspapers are the Bibles of worldlings;’ and to this we have the homely note, ‘ How diligently they read them! Here they find their law and profits, their judges and chronicles, their epistles and revelations.’ The newspapers, however, must take their chance of being abused, even by those who most diligently read them.
Journalists are a long-suffering race, and it curiously happens that, among old Howell’s proverbs, collected more than two centuries since, we find this one, ‘A diurnal-maker is the sub-amner to a historian.’ ‘We have no quarrel, therefore, with Mr. Spurgeon on this account. What he says; about newspapers has long since,, been said at the Antipodes, where the vast weekly budgets of the. Sydney and Melbourne journals are habitually called ‘ The Bushman’s Bible,’ constituting, as they do, the almost exclusive reading of the shepherds and stockriders far away in the bush. Altogether, The Saltcellars may be welcomed as an equally entertaining and edifying compilation; and the scheme, as well as the actual accomplishment of the work, is alike creditable to the heart and the head of an estimable minister of religion who has long since won the rank of an English worthy.”
If there had been sufficient space available, an interesting chapter might have been compiled concerning “Mr. Spurgeon as a Poet and Hymnwriter.”
As that is not possible, the specimens of his poetry included in the present and the previous volumes of this work will convey some idea of his gifts in that direction; and one more must find a place here, partly because of its autobiographical character, but also because it was the last that he ewer wrote. He put at the top of it, as the motto-text, “I will make the dry land springs of water;” and as the title, “The Drop which Grew into a Torrent. A Personal Experience.” “All my soul was dry and dead Till I learned that Jesus bled; — Bled and suffer’d in my place, Bearing sin in matchless grace. “Then a drop of Heavenly love Fell upon me from above, And by secret, mystic art Reached the center of my heart. “Glad the story I recount, How that drop became a fount, Bubbled up a living well, Made my heart begin to swell. “All within my soul was praise Praise increasing all my days; Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free. “More and more the waters grew, Open wide the flood-gates flew, Leaping t0rth in streams of song Flowed my happy life along. “Lo! a river clear and sweet Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees, And I praised and prayed with ease. “Now my soul in praises swims, Bathes in songs, and psalms, and hymns; Plunges down into the deeps, All her powers in worship steeps. “Hallelujah! 0 my Lord, Torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away, Praising, praising all the day. “In an ocean of delight, Praising God with all my might, Self is drowned. So let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.” The hymn was written in the early part of the year 189o, and was inserted in the programme used at the next College Conference. Those who were present, on that occasion, are not likely to forget the thrilling effect produced when the five hundred ministers and students joined in singing it to the tune “Nottingham.” At the commencement, all sat and sang; but as they came to the later verses, they spontaneously rose, the time was quickened, and Mr. Manton Smith’s cornet helped to swell the volume of praise expressed by the writer.
The next literary work was one of the smallest of Mr. Spurgeon’s many volumes, yet its history and associations place it among the most notable of his publications. At the College Conference, in 1891, the Presidential Address struck all who heard it as being a peculiarly timely and weighty utterance; and some who listened to it, and to the sermon which followed it, three days later, afterwards said that they had a kind of premonitory conviction ‘that their beloved President would never again meet the members and associates of the Pastors’ College Evangelical Association in conference on earth; and so it proved to be.
On the Monday evening .of that memorable week, at the public meeting in Upton Chapel, Mr. Spurgeon took, as the subject of his address, Ephesians 6:16: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” This proved to be the prelude and preparation for the martial topic on which he intended to speak the next morning, and which he summarized under three heads, (1) our armory, the Word of God; (2) our army, the Church of God; and (3) our strength, the Holy Spirit. It was a fitting climax to the long series of Inaugural Addresses, which were always reckoned, by those who were privileged to hear the. m, as; the most solemn and forceful of all Mr. Spurgeon’s utterances. It was rapturously received by the crowded and enthusiastic assembly; and, at its close, such urgent requests were presented for its publication in pamphlet form, that consent was at once given, on condition that the brethren would help to make it known when it was issued.
During the week following the Conference, the reporter’s transcript was revised, considerable additions being made to the manuscript, and it was promptly published under the title’., The Greatest Fight in the World. It immediately attained a very wide circulation; it was reprinted in the United States, translated into French and German, and passed through several large editions. Then, after Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, a generous gentleman, who had been with him on the platform during its delivery, felt that one of the best ways; of honoring his memory was to perpetuate hi,; testimony, and therefore arranged that a copy of it, bearing the additional title “C. H. Spurgeon’s Final Manifesto,” should be sent, through Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund, to every clergyman and minister of every denomination in England. In this way, 34,500 more copies were circulated, with abundant evidence that the Lord had owned and blessed the effort.
While. the present volume has been in course, of compilation, The Greatest Fight has been issued by the publishers., in cloth covers, to make it uniform with the Pastor’,; other shilling volumes, so its witness to the.. truth will still ;be continued, though several years have elapsed since its soul-stirring message was first uttered.
Another small volume, which has ‘very tender associations connected with it, is Memories of Stambourne. It was commenced before Mr. Spurgeon’s long illness in 1891, and it was completed during the time of partial restoration which was graciously granted to him later in that year. The little book has a special interest for readers of this work, for it was really the first portion of C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography telling the story of his childhood as he wished it to go forth to the public, and for that reason it was largely use. d in the compilation of Vol. I. of his Standard Life.. For several years, the Pastor visited Stambourne and its neighborhood, partly because of his; early recollections of his grandfather’s country, and partly that he might gather up all available material concerning some of the memorable, scenes of his; boyhood. On the last occasion, he took with him Mr. T. H. Nash, who kindly photographed a number of views for reproduction in the volume then being written. It was during that week that the “overpowering headache” came on, of which Mr. Spurgeon afterwards wrote, adding, “I had to hurry home, to go up to that chamber wherein, for three months, I suffered beyond measure, and was often between the jaws of death.” In answer to the almost universal prayer of believers in all lands, he was raised up for a time, and had the satisfaction of seeing his little book of reminiscences not only finished and published, but also widely welcomed and greatly enjoyed.
But there was another volume, in progress at the same time, which was destined to have a still more pathetic interest attaching to it. That was The Gospel of the Kingdom; a Popular Exposition of the Gospel according to Matthew, concerning which Mrs. Spurgeon ‘wrote, after her beloved’s promotion to glory — ” It stands alone in its sacred and sorrowful significance. It is the tired worker’s final labor of love. for his Lord. It is the last sweet song from lips that were ever sounding forth the praises of his King.. It is the dying shout of victory from the standard-bearer, who bore his Captain’s colors unflinchingly through the thickest of the fight ....
Much of the later portion of the work was written on the very borderland of Heaven, amid the nearing glories of the unseen world, and almost within sight of the Golden Gates.’
Mr. Spurgeon’s intention in preparing the volume, was to produce a devotional Commentary, specially calling attention to the Kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the prominent feature of the Gospel according to Matthew. He proceeded with the work very leisurely, and a great part of it was written during his winter sojourns on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. The accompanying facsimile of the first page of his manuscript will show the method he adopted, and he followed the same plan as long as he was enabled to continue the congenial task.
Towards the latter part of 1891, when Mr. Spurgeon was sufficiently restoredto be able to travel to Mentone, he eagerly resumed his delightful service of expounding the first Gospel, and he wrote some portion of it, day by (lay, until he was finally laid aside. To the last, his handwriting was as clear, and distinct, and firm as ever, and there,, was no sign of the rapidly approaching collapse which was to send such a thrill of sorrow through the whole of Christendom. Mentally and spiritually, the work was equal to the best efforts of his brightest )’ears; but he was not permitted to finish it, for he was called up to see the King of whom he had been writing, and to share in the glories of the Kingdom of which he had so long been preaching to others.
After due consideration, it was resolved that, instead of leaving his last literary work to stand like a broken column, it should be completed as nearly as possible in the way he would himself have ended it had he been spared long enough. tie had so often expounded the closing chapters of Matthew’s Gospel that there was abundant material for the latter portion of his Commentary to be compiled entirely from his own spoken and written words. This delicate duty was entrusted to his private secretary. When n the volume was issued, it met with a most hearty reception, and it has continued in great favor-ever since. The Editor of The British Weekly indirectly paid a high compliment to the complier of the later chapters when he said that there should have been some indication as to where Mr. Spurgeon’s manuscript ended. Evidently, the worker in mosaics had so skilfully joined together the precious treasures committed to his charge that even this keen critic could not discover any break in the connection.
Another literary work, upon which Mr. Spurgeon was busily occupied when the home-call came to him at Mentone, was Messages to the Multitude, the eighth volume in “The Preachers of the Age” series, issued by Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston, and Co. It was intended to set forth the style of the Pastor’s preaching at various periods of his long ministry; and, to that end, the sermons selected ranged from one delivered in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, in 1859, to another, which was almost the last preached in the Tabernacle, in. 1891. The revision of the latter part of this book also fell to Mr. Harrald’s share. Although tell out of the twelve discourses contained ill it had been previously published, the work has had a large sale; and, quite’ recently, a popular edition of it has been produced, thereby still further increasing its sphere, of usefulness.
Many other volumes had been either commenced or planned by Mr. Spurgeon; and several of them have already been completed. The first of these was The Art of Illustration, forming the third series of Lectures to my Students, and containing exceedingly valuable information concerning the use of illustrations in preaching, and the books in which anecdotes, illustrations, fables, emblems, and parables are to be found.
Next followed one of the choicest volumes in the whole of Mr. Spurgeon’s works, — ” Till He Come.” Communion Meditations and Addresses. It consists very largely of the quiet, homely talks of the Pastor to the little,, companies of Christians who gathered with him around the table of the Lord in his sitting-room at Mentone; but it also includes some of his more public utterances when thousands of believers met for communion in the Tabernacle. The value of the ordinance, and the spiritual benefit to be derived from its frequent observance, are clearly set forth; and it see. ms impossible for any lover of the Lor to read the book without being brought into still closer fellowship with the Savior, and a deeper appreciation of the great atoning sacrifice symbolized by the broken bread and the filled cup.
The volume has proved invaluable as an aid to private devotion, and as a guide to those who are called to preside at the celebration of the sacred feast of love.
Another book, which Christian workers have found to be of great service to them, is The Soul-winner; or, How to Lead Sinners to the Savior.
Containing several lectures to the students of the Pastors’ College, addresses to Sunday-school teachers and open-air preachers, and sermons upon what Mr. Spurgeon termed “that most royal employment, — soulwinning,” it must greatly help those who desire to become wise in winning souls, while it explains some of the secrets of the author’s own power as one of the greatest soul-winners who ever lived.
These posthumous works specially deserve mention in the present volume, for all of them are largely autobiographica1, and, here and there, extracts from them have been given in previous pages where they appeared needful for’ the complete-hess of the narrative. All of them have been extensively sold, and highly prized, perhaps all the more because the’. voice that uttered so much of their contents is no longer audible here below.
Beside the new works published since Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, there have been already issued no less than eight different sets of his sermons — The’ Parables of our Lord,’ The Miracles (two volumes); “The Most Holy Place,” — (fifty-two discourses, on the Song of Solomon); — The Messiah, our Lords Names, Titles, and Attributes,’ Christ in the Old’ Testament,’ The Everlasting Gospel; and The Gospel for the People. Ten smaller volumes contain shorter passages from his writings, suitable for various classes of readers — Teachings of Nature in the Kingdom of Grace, Words of Wisdom, Words of Warning, and Words of Cheer for Daily Life, Words of Counsel for Christian Workers, Words of Advice for Seekers, “The Endeavor,” “Come, ye Children,” Gospel Extracts from C. H. Spurgeon, and Glorious Themes for Saints and Sinners. The last-named book is printed in very large type so as to adapt it to old people and little children. Although it has been only recently issued, it has already found much favor, and is likely to be exceedingly useful in making known the essentials of the faith in the simplest and plainest language.
It is impossible to estimate the total number of volumes of Mr. Spurgeon’s works that have been issued in this country, in the United States, and in many other lands in which they have been translated into foreign languages.
Many millions of copies must. already have been sold; and, although it is now eight years since he was “called home,” there is, apparently, no diminution in the demand for them. Indeed, the many new works from his lips and pen published since his promotion to higher service, the still larger number of reprints or extracts from hi,; writings, and the ever-increasing circulation of his sermons, make it almost certain that his publications are distributed even more widely now than they were during his lifetime on earth, while testimony to their usefulness is constantly being received from all quarters of the globe. It may, therefore, be concluded that, great as was his influence in the pulpit, his power through the press is not a witness; and there seems to be no valid reason why his testimony to the truth should not be continued, by means of the printed page, until the Lord Himself returns.